Featured Heuchera




HEUCHERA—The coralbells and alumroots are an American genus with handsome clumps of evergreen basal foliage and graceful spikes of small bell-like flowers in late spring to late summer. The taller types can be very effective in large groupings, which in bloom have a misty, ethereal quality. The smaller types are best used in raised beds, rock gardens, or containers and have a subtle, refined beauty shared by few other plants. Some heucheras have foliage that is red to purple and may be marked with silver; this is most pronounced during the cool months of the year and may fade somewhat in the heat of summer. The newer selections and hybrids are spectacular foliage plants, easily the equal of any other perennial in this regard. The best of the new varieties are worth growing for their flowers, as well. In general heucheras want light shade to part sun (the foliage of most forms will burn in mid-summer in full, hot sun, especially if the soil is dry) and well-drained soil.

Most of our varieties are based ultimately on the hybrid ‘Montrose Ruby,’ a cross between H. americana ‘Dale’s Strain’ and H. villosa ‘Palace Purple’ produced by Montrose Nursery in the 1980s, on the one hand, and our own crosses between the garden H. brizoides and H. pubescens, a large-flowered eastern native, on the other. ‘Montrose Ruby’ has contributed wonderful burgundy coloration and ‘Dale’s Strain’ silvery foliage and vigor. H. brizoides has given showy flower colors and H. pubescens large flower size and drought and cold tolerance. One of our hybrid series, the Petites, has been developed using two small western montane species, H. hallii and H. pulchella, crossed with larger burgundy and silver leaved forms. Read more about Heuchera on our Featured Plants pages. Suggestions for use follow the discussions in our book. Clicking on the FP symbol next to the descriptive text will open the variety's Featured Plant page in a new window.

Heuchera 'Caroline''Caroline' (PP# 20,026) is a special favorite of ours and is named after our grand-daughter. The foliage grows in a compact, dense mound about 8" high X 12" wide. The leaves are slightly ruffled, soft warm mocha color (less green than in the photo), with an overlay of silver. The undersides of the leaves are red-purple. Flower stems are erect to 18". Flowers are relatively large and creamy white, opening from dark pink buds. Bloom time is May to June. 'Caroline' has a pleasing balance of proportions of flower size, height, and leaf size, and a very good matching of flower to leaf coloration.

'Coral Bouquet' - This is our hybrid between the western H. cylindrica and the garden H. brizoides. This has probably the largest, showiest flowers of any heuchera on the market. They are shrimp pink and borne in full cattail-shaped inflorescences. The green leaves have some silver patterning. ‘Coral Bouquet’ will do better with nearly full sun and especially good drainage and air circulation.18-24”.

Best for rock garden or raised bed use.

Heuchera 'Dark Chocolate' 'Dark Chocolate' (PP#23,454) - This new favorite of ours has large light pink flowers from dark pink buds in narrow steeple-shaped panicles and dark purple leaves that do not green out when summer comes. The foliage is lightly marked with silver and forms a compact mound  about 8" high, with flowers in May to June on 18" stems. FP

Best for container and perennial border use.
'Frosted Violet' (PP#15,085) - This striking introduction combines the vigor and habit of the H. villosa types with the leaf coloration of the silvered forms like ‘Silver Scrolls.’ The new foliage is a wonderful pink-violet that we have not seen in any other form. The winter foliage turns a dark bluish-violet. The flowers are like pink seed pearls and are displayed from late spring to late summer.This has always been one of the the most admired heuchera in our display gardens. Foliage to about 12”, flowers to about 30”. FP

There is an excellent description of this plant on the Garden Splendor website. This includes a discussion with David Wilson on the radio program The Paul Parent Garden Club.

Best for perennial border use.

Jade Gloss’ (PP#13,137) - This variety has glossy, highly silvered leaves with bronze veining and large white flowers from pink buds in the spring. ‘Jade Gloss’ is a heavy-blooming variety with sturdy, erect flower stems to 18”. The silver-leaved heucheras can be combined to good effect with ferns like painted fern, Athyrium niponicum f. pictum, maidenhair, Adiantum pedatum, and autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora. FP

Best for containers and raised beds.

Heuchera 'Moonlight''Moonlight' (PP#17,434) was introduced in 2008 through Monrovia Nurseries. The growth habit is a loose tuft about 8" high X 12" wide. The flower stems are erect and about 18" tall. The leaves are about 3.5" wide and dark bronze-purple with silver markings. The undersides are dark red-purple. The flowers are very large and pale green. The flower stems are contrasting dark purple, making a very pleasing contrast with the flowers. Bloomtime is May into June. This plant in bloom has a mysterious quality. The flower color goes nicely with pale green foliage like that of Japanese Painted Fern. 

Petite series - These are miniature plants derived from crosses between dwarf alpine forms and the large, bronze-foliaged types. One year old plants form compact mounds of rounded foliage 6-8” wide and bear showy flowers on 10-12” stalks. Our plants do best in bright light but not baking sun and keep the tightest habit and best coloration in lean, gritty soil. These plants are unexcelled for container or rock garden use. FP

'Petite Pearl Fairy' (PP#11,058) – Small bronze leaves marbled with silver, medium pink flowers on 10” stalks. The plant in the photo is grown under garden conditions of lean soil and full sun.

'Purple Mountain Majesty' (PP#16,405) – This is one of our new favorites. It has compact purple foliage with a light silver pattern and very large, almost globular white flowers on erect 18-24” stems in spring. ‘Purple Mountain Majesty’ has been more sun-tolerant for us than most heucheras over the past couple of summers. FP

Best for perennial border and raised bed use.

'Quilters' Joy' - Crisply defined silver markings on a bronze background make this selection look like patchwork. 'Quilters' Joy' has white flowers on 18-24” stems in late spring. We suggest combining this with Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'. 'Quilters' Joy was given an Award of Garden Merit in 2002 in the RHS Wisley trials.

Best for perennial border use.

'Raspberry Ice' (PP#13,340) - This sister of 'Silver Scrolls' has relatively large pink flowers in late spring on 24” stems and beautifully marked silver and burgundy foliage. When well grown, plants become quite large. One at the Blooms Trial Garden in southeastern Pennsylvania was at least 2 ft across in its third year. As a plant in the Blooms Program, this receives extra sales promotion from them. This was one of the six plants chosen by Allan Armitage from the University of Georgia 2004 perennial trials to receive a "Classic City Award." FP

Best for perennial border use.

'Royal Velvet' (PP#16,335) – 'Royal Velvet' has rich dark purple and silver leaves that are softly fuzzy and slightly ruffled and frilled. In spring the plant has an abundance of white flowers on erect 18” stems. This a very unusual and interesting looking heuchera. FP

Best for border and raised bed use.

Silver Light’ (PP#15,067) - “Silverissimo” could be another name for this selection. The highly metallic foliage seems to bring light to shaded parts of the garden. ‘Silver Light’ has showy, frilly, light pink flowers to about 18” in late spring. FP

Excellent for container and raised bed use.

'Silver Scrolls' (PP#12,066) – We consider this extraordinary hybrid to be one of our very best introductions. The rounded leaves are metallic silver marked with a scrollwork of dark veining. It has showy, erect wands of white flowers tinged with pink in spring to 24 inches and grows vigorously to form impressive clumps after a single season. In shade the foliage of 'Silver Scrolls' brightens the garden, and it remains attractive through the fall and winter while many other perennials have retreated underground. 'Silver Scrolls' won a Bronze Medal at Plantarium 2000 in Holland. FP

Best for border use.

Heuchera 'Stainless Steel''Stainless Steel' (PP#23,349) - One parent of this striking heuchera is an unusual wild-type H. pubescens from seed from eastern West Virginia. This parent gives it totally metallic foliage and great vigor and drought-resistance. It has relatively large white flowers in late spring on 24" stems. FP

Best for perennial border use.
'Steel City' This is an extra-vigorous selection that is a hybrid of our classic 'Regina' with our H. villosa 'Bronze Wave.' 'Steel City' has steely-silver foliage and small pink flowers to about 30". It has proved a better survivor than any other heuchera we have grown – a friend has said "When the other ones die, put 'Steel City' in the holes." The even foliage coloration, airy inflorescences, and vigor of this cultivar make it especially suited for large landscape plantings, perhaps combined with hostas and ferns. FP

Best for perennial borders and mass plantings.

villosa f. purpurea ‘Bronze Wave’ - This dark-leaved form is the largest of the heucheras we grow. The wavy-margined hairy leaves are 6 to 8” across and make a clump about 24” across and 18” high. 24” wands of pinkish-white flowers are produced from mid to late summer. The plants we offer are a clone selected for vigor, habit, leaf shape, and retention of good foliage color through the season.

Best for perennial border and naturalizing.

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